Suicidal ideations can lead to serious consequences if not addressed promptly. Any type of suicidal ideation, be it passive or active, should be taken seriously. Never leave a suicidal person alone, even if they have no plans to actually take their life. Here is your guide to passive suicidal ideation, so you know what it is, what to expect, and how to handle it.
What is It?
Passive suicidal ideation is simply thoughts of suicide, not followed up with an act or plan to follow through with taking one’s life. The very thought of suicide can be a serious indication that something is wrong; whether it be a mental health condition or some other factor(s). A common misconception is that passive ideation makes the victim “low-risk” for suicide, but the fact is, passive ideation can easily evolve into active ideation and create tragic consequences.
What Causes It?
Depression is a major contributor to suicidal ideation, but is not the only cause of the condition. There are other mental health conditions that contribute to suicidal ideation, but even things like breakups, loss of a loved one, or some other external pressure can contribute to the triggering of suicidal thoughts.
If someone you know has been withdrawn for several weeks, experiences pervasive feelings of hopelessness, or a sudden obsession with death, they could very well be experiencing a combination of depression and suicidal ideations. Don’t be afraid to ask questions like “Are you thinking about taking your life?” or “Have you been considering suicide recently?” These questions can open up important dialogues and help you decide whether or not your friend/family member is actually considering suicide.
Asking such questions doesn’t increase a person’s risk for completing suicide, as is commonly thought. You can ask these questions in a gentle and supportive way, and you may find that a simple question is all it takes for the person to feel cared for and desire treatment. Be your friend or family member’s advocate and ask the hard questions.
Is it Serious?
Any type of suicidal ideation, whether or not it leads to the completion of the act of suicide, should be considered incredibly serious. Our natural instincts tell us to survive; if someone is blatantly thinking against the survival instinct, something is wrong. It’s important that you never leave someone with suicidal ideations alone; whether you think they’re passive or active.
Passive ideation can create a path to active ideation. Enough time thinking about suicide and researching methods can be just what’s needed to push a usually passive person over the edge to active ideation. Addressing passive ideation early on can help prevent this, and the ultimate outcome of an un-addressed active ideation.
Active vs. Passive
Active ideation is the process of actively thinking about how to complete suicide. This can include researching how to follow through with it, how to hide it from family and friends, etc. If you notice these themes in your loved one’s research or even in their speech, it’s important that you take it seriously. Someone researching how to tie a noose is likely very serious about following through with suicide.
Suicide can leave many questions unanswered, and a wake of grief among those it affects. It can be devastating to families, friends, and communities at large. Unfortunately, this trend is on the rise as well. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in young people aged 10-34, and is rising steadily. It’s vital that we address the stigma and misunderstanding associated with this very serious, lethal issue.
What Can Be Done?
So what can be done to prevent suicide? First and foremost, we must address and work to erase the stigma associated with it. Stigma creates a wall between people and understanding suicide, and also helps to foster misinformation and misconceptions. We need to take a stand against the stigma and help spread correct information in our community.
Secondly, we can address it at the source. Those people in our lives who are affected by ideations, mental illness, or are simply trying to complete suicide, need the support of their friends, family, and communities. We must stop turning our backs on them, downplaying the issue, and ignoring the cries for help.
If someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, be sure to stay with them until you’ve sought help. Contacting mental health resources or even a trusted friend to help you keep an eye on them is a good first step. Next, you’ll want to encourage them to check into a mental health facility or an inpatient treatment center. Let them know how much you care and how much their life means to you. Be sure they know that you’re there to support them in whatever they need, and that a world without them would be less joyful and bright.
Doctors are working constantly to improve treatment methods for conditions like depression and suicidal thoughts. Alternative methods like all natural CBD oil are on the rise, and with more research, more effective methods are being created to minimize the impact (and casualties) of mental health conditions.
Passive suicidal ideation should be taken just as seriously as active ideation; as it can eventually evolve into its active counterpart and result in the ultimate tragedy. Keeping your eyes open and taking any suicidal threats seriously is the best way to address the issues before they become life-threatening.